Five Companies that are giving Scholarships

Think about how many corporations you have interacted with today. Did you shop anywhere or eat at a fast food restaurant? Did you buy a drink from a vending machine or use your cellphone? Chances are, the companies and services you use and pay for daily, offer a scholarship for high school seniors. There is money surrounding us everyday and we don’t even know it. Money that YOU could be saving on that shiny Bachelor’s degree. Here are five scholarships:

It’s important to start thinking about what options are available to pay for college. The School Bell Blog hopes you find this post helpful for planning scholarship applications in the future.

McDonald’s

Attention McChicken lovers! Ronald McDonald is giving away the HACER National Scholarship. The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) awards $100,000 to five students even year. The requirements:

  • Must be a legal U.S resident
  • Must have a minimum 2.7 GPA
  • Must be a high school senior
  • Must have Hispanic/Latino heritage
  • Must be eligible to attend some form of higher education after high school
  • Must be under 21 years of age.
  • Mainly based on financial need

Link: https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/community/hacer.html

Coca Cola

The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation has something even sweeter to offer than their sodas. Each year, 150 applicants are selected to be awarded a $20,000 scholarship. The requirements:

  • Must be a U.S citizen or a U.S permanent resident (there are other exceptions to this on their website)
  • Must be a high school senior
  • Must receive a high school diploma during the school year you apply
  • Must be planning to pursue higher education in a U.S institution.

Link: https://www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org/apply/

FootLocker

This one is for all the athletes! The scholarship does NOT require you to continue playing sports during college. You also do not have be in a varsity team to be considered. A total of 20 high school seniors will be selected throughout the nation to be awarded $20,000. The requirements:

  • Must have a 3.0 GPA
  • Must be high school senior
  • Must be a member of some sport
  • They are looking for students who show leadership in their sport, school, and community!

Link: https://footlockerscholarathletes.com

Taco Bell

In 2018, the Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship awarded $1 million dollars in scholarships to a total of 100 applicants. You must send a 2 minute video explaining your passions and goals with regards to a career. It is a great opportunity for students who feel their charisma supersedes their writing skills, to express their story in the most authentic way possible. The requirements:

  • Must be a legal U.S resident
  • Must be between the ages of 16-24
  • Must have the intention to or already be enrolled in a post-secondary program for higher education. 
  • If you are selected to be a recipient, you must agree to work for the Taco Bell Foundation Scholarship’s Management Company for the duration of the award process

Link: https://www.tacobellfoundation.org/live-mas-scholarship/

Macy’s

The Macy’s Hispanic Scholarship Fund is open to high school seniors, undergraduate students, AND graduate students! Although this scholarship focuses on STEM majors, all other majors are welcomed to apply. The amount awarded is based on need. The requirements:

  • Must be a permanent legal U.S resident
  • Must have a 3.0 GPA if high school student
  • Must have a 2.5 GPA if undergraduate/ graduate student
  • Must be of Hispanic Heritage
  • Must have the intention to or already be enrolled in a college or university
  • Must be a permanent legal resident
  • Must complete the FAFSA or state based financial aid application

Link: https://www.hsf.net/scholarship

*The School Bell Blog is not associated with any of the corporations mentioned. All information is subject to change based on updates by any institutions mentioned. The School Bell Blog encourages students to consult with their counselors and do their own research to confirm the information stated above.

Please email me with any questions or requests for posts: schoolbellblog@gmail.com

Everything GPA

GPA. It’s just a number, but it can make all the difference between getting into a college or not.

So what is it?

GPA stands for “Grade Point Average”. It’s a point system that averages all the grades you received during high school into two numbers: weighted GPA and unweighted GPA. These two numbers are used to measure your academic success in your high school career. It’s important for three things: college, ranks, and scholarships.

The two types of GPA: Unweighted and Weighted.

Unweighted GPA– An average of all the letter grades received in high school level courses.

Answers the question: Did you get good grades?

Weighted GPA– The same as unweighted GPA PLUS bonus points to account for taking difficult classes such as Honors classes, AP classes, Dual Enrollment, and IB or AICE classes.

Answers the question: Did you challenge yourself and take difficult classes?

Colleges look at both unweighted and weighted GPA to see how committed you were to always doing well in school. A high SAT score, alone, won’t get you admitted. Colleges want to know that you’re capable of working hard consistently for years, not just a month before a test. Don’t know what the SAT is? Click on one of the posts below!

*GPA is one of the most important factors in your college application process!

Ranks: Every school does this differently, but just about every high school uses both GPA’s to organize each graduating class in order of highest GPA to lowest. This is then used to determine who is in the top of the class to receive special honors during graduation. 

*Colleges also look at your rank

Valedictorian: highest honor of academic achievement, typically the student with the highest weighted GPA (some schools have multiple which are then co-valedictorians).

Salutatorian: second highest honor of academic achievement, typically the student with the second highest weighted GPA (some schools have multiple which are then co-salutatorians).

Summa Cum Laude: top 5% of the graduation class

Magna Cum Laude: top 6-10% of the graduating class

Cum Laude: top 11-15% of the graduating class

Scholarships usually have a minimum GPA you need in order to be eligible. Most Miami-Dade County students will apply for the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program. There are two categories within this program:

-Florida Academic Scholarship (FAS) requires at least a 3.50 weighted GPA

-Florida Medallion Scholarship (FMS) requires at least a 3.00 weighted GPA

*Always make sure that your GPA meets the requirements for a scholarship you want to apply for. 

***Tip on raising your weighted GPA quickly
I have found the quickest way to doing this is through Dual Enrollment courses

These courses typically last a semester (two grading periods) or less and carry the same weight as a rigorous AP which takes much more commitment.

How do I find my GPAs?

Log in to your dadeschools.net student portal account and click on the purple “Report Card” icon.

Once you are there, click on the “GPA” tab to find both your GPA’s.

College Application tip: Don’t make the mistake of trying to cheat the system and getting a 4.0 GPA by taking the easiest classes possible. This is why weighted GPA exists. It’s better to have a relatively high unweighted GPA and a weighted GPA that shows you challenged yourself.

***Important message for middle schoolers!

If you are taking any high school classes in middle school (Ex. Algebra 1, Physical Science, etc) your grades WILL count towards your high school GPA. 

I wish I knew how important this would be when I got to high school. I’ve had to make up for it by taking more challenging classes now. Don’t make the same mistake! 

With this in mind, if you are offered a high school class, wait until you feel prepared to succeed in that class. Your GPA will thank you later.

How do Miami Dade County Public Schools generally calculate GPA? 

The following will be based on a 4.0 system.

 The standard grading scale (unweighted GPA) is based on:

4.0-A, 3.0-B, 2.0-C, 1.0-D, and 0.0-F

Regular level courses are graded on this standard scale.

For weighted GPA:

 Students enrolled in Honors Courses receive one bonus point if they earn a grade of “A,” “B,” or “C” in the course. 

5.0-A, 4.0-B, 3.0-C, 1.0-D, 0.0-F

Students enrolled in AP, IB, AICE, and Dual Enrollment courses receive two bonus points if they earn an “A” or “B” in the course and one bonus point if they earn a “C” in the course.

6.0-A, 5.0-B, 3.0-C, 1.0-D, 0.0-F

*Please see your counselor to find out what GPA calculation system your high school uses.

For more information visit http://drs.dadeschools.net/InformationCapsules/IC1209.pdf

Most colleges will recalculate your GPA and only include your academic courses! This means elective classes such as art or music, will not count towards your GPA in their calculation unless it’s an academic elective like Human Geography. 

Here is how a few Florida colleges recalculate GPA:

Florida State University (FSU)

  • only includes academic classes
  • the new system for AP, IB, AICE, and Dual Enrollment:
  • 5.0-A, 4.0-B, 3.0-C, 1.0-D, 0.0-F    (added 1 point for all grades C and up)
  • the new system for Honors, Pre-IB, and Pre-AICE:
  • 4.5-A, 3.5-B, 2.5-C, 1.0-D, 0.0-F     (added 0.5 points for all grades C and up)

University of Florida (UF)

  • only includes academic classes
  • adds bonus points for Honors, Dual-Enrollment, AICE, AP, and IB, but does not specify how much

University of Central Florida (UCF)

  • only includes academic classes
  • the new system for AP, IB, AICE, and Dual Enrollment:
  • 5.0-A, 4.0-B, 3.0-C, 1.0-D, 0.0-F    (added 1 point for all grades C and up)
  • the new system for Honors, Pre-IB, and Pre-AICE:
  • 4.5-A, 3.5-B, 2.5-C, 1.0-D, 0.0-F     (added 0.5 points for all grades C and up)

*All information is subject to change based on updates by the county and all other mentioned institutions. The School Bell Blog encourages students to consult with their counselors and do their own research to confirm the information stated above.

Please email me with any questions or requests for posts: schoolbellblog@gmail.com


SAT: The Main Questions

Most of us have heard the phrase “SAT”, but don’t really know when to take it, how to prepare for it, or why it’s important. SAT stands for “Scholastic Aptitude Test” and no, it isn’t an IQ test. It is a common exam high school students take to be able to send their scores to American Universities they are applying to. It is supposed to measure what you learned in high school, to predict your success in college. Performing well on this exam can mean more options when choosing a college and even more scholarship opportunities. Most colleges do require that you take this exam and report your score in their application. However, you should check the specific requirements for any college or university you are interested in, as each could have different requirements.

What’s on the Test?

Reading: 52 Questions 65 Minutes 

This portion of the test is all multiple choice and based on passages they provide you. Reading tests always include one classic literature piece, one significant historical document, one selection in social science, and two science-related passages.

Writing and Language: 44 Questions 35 Minutes

This portion of the test is all multiple choice and based on passages they provide you. You will mainly be correcting grammatical mistakes, word choice, and other errors such as sentence placement.

The result of both are combined.

Mathematics: 58 Questions 80 Minutes

The first 20 questions are without a calculator, the next 38 are with a calculator.In each half of the mathematics part, there will a few questions that require you to handwrite an answer instead of pick a choice. The rest of the questions will be multiple choice. Questions will cover topics up to material taught in Algebra 2.

Essay: 1 Question 50 Minutes

According to the College Board, this is the usual prompt given on the SAT:

“Write an essay in which you explain how [the author] builds an argument to persuade [his/her] audience that [author’s claim]. In your essay, analyze how [the author] uses one or more of the features listed above (or features of your own choice) to strengthen the logic and persuasiveness of [his/her] argument. Be sure that your analysis focuses on the most relevant features of the passage. Your essay should not explain whether you agree with [the author’s] claims, but rather explain how the author builds an argument to persuade [his/her] audience.”

This portion of the exam is not required. When you register to take the exam, you must state whether or not you will be taking the SAT with an essay portion. Although most colleges today do not require you to take the essay portion, there are still some exceptions. It is advised to have an idea of the schools you want to apply to so you can check if they have the essay as a requirement before taking the SAT.

*Don’t worry! You get breaks throughout the test!

How do I register?

First, you have to make an account with collegeboard.org. Once you have your account, search for a “Complete Your SAT Registration” icon to begin registration.

When should I take it?

It is advised to have at least completed Algebra 2 in your high school classes, to be prepared for the Mathematics portion. Students usually begin taking the SAT in their third or junior year of high school, but you can start earlier or later. Once you feel that you are academically prepared, feel free to sign up!

 Do I have to pay? How much does the SAT cost?

You are eligible for an SAT Fee Waiver if:

  • You are eligible for free or reduced lunch 
  • You receive public/government assistance
  • You are an orphan/ward of the state
  • Your income falls within the guide lines below:

The SAT Fee Waiver Includes:

  • Two free SAT tests with/without essay
  • Two Question-and-Answer (QAS) or Student Answer Service (SAS) reports. (These basically report to you the types of test questions on your SAT and how you answered them. You can use this to prepare for a second try.)
  • Unlimited free score reports
  • Coverage of the late registration fee
  • Six free subject tests (A post explaining these is coming up)
  • College Application Fee Waivers (unlimited as long as you are choosing from their list of 2,000+ schools)
  • Coverage of fees for students testing internationally
  • Fee waivers to apply for nonfederal financial aid

If you are not eligible for the waiver, an SAT exam usually costs about $65 with an essay and $48 without an essay. This number can change if you register late, change the date of your test, etc.

How do I get an SAT Fee Waiver?

Visit your high school counselor/ CAP advisor for help on getting your fee waiver.

How do I prepare for the exam?

FREE RESOURCES!

Khan Academy offers one of the best resources to practice for the SAT. For free, you can create an account, create a personalized schedule for short daily practice, and take up to 8 full-practice tests. Based on what questions you get wrong in the full-tests, they recommend specific practices for you.

https://www.khanacademy.org

*These exams are also available in print-out version on the college board website if your eyes get tired from using the computer.

NOT FREE RESOURCES

  • Companies that offer SAT Books with Practice Tests:
    • Kaplan
    • The Princeton Review
    • Barron’s
  • Prep Courses:
    • Kaplan
    • The Princeton Review 
    • Manhattan Review
  • Personal Tutoring Sessions

*The SAT exam can be taken unlimitedly and remember that universities always choose your highest grade and even some colleges combine your highest scores in each section and combine it to create a super score.

We wish you Good Luck!

*Disclaimer: All content posted by School Bell Blog is subject to change and should be verified either through personal research or through a qualified counselor, before taken as fact.